Michael Clyne (1992: 459) listed 11 characteristics of the varieties of the dominant nations (D-Nation) that relate to attitudes and beliefs shared by the members of different D-nations in respect of the ND-nations and to differences in language behaviour. The following list has been enlarged by Muhr/Delcourt (2000) (M/D), Muhr (2003) (M) and also presents the features named by M. Clyne (1992) (MC):
- Have a large number of speakers (M/MC).
- Are varieties of nations which are the country where the language originates (‘historical heartland’) and therefore claim historical rights. (M/MC)
- Are native varieties and not nativized ones. (MC)
- Have political, economic and linguistic power and therefore high status. (M)
- Have a big impact on the general norm of the language. (M/MC)
- Practice thorough codification and have many codifying institutions. (M/MC)
- Are globally present in the electronic and print media available to a large audience etc. (M/MC)
- Spread / export their norms and have many institutions for the dissemination of their norms. (M/MC)
- The superiority of the D-variety: D-nations regard themselves as standard and as the custodians of the norms and the norms of the others as ‘deviant, non-standard and exotic, cute, charming, and somewhat archaic’. (MC)
- Speakers of D-nations tend to confuse ‘regional variation’ with ‘national variation’. NDV are considered to be nothing more than a ‘regional’ variety and just a case of linguistic divergence. (MC)
- D-nations ignore the identity function of national variety (and often find it difficult to accept that the speakers of the ND-nations are members of another nation). (MC)
- Variation is thought to be only existent in the spoken norm. (MC)
- Norms of the ND-nations are believed to be less rigid. (MC)
- Knowledge of language: speakers of DV are not usually familiar with the ND varieties. (MC)
- Language change in the DV is perceived as ‘natural’ (and after some time codified) whereas the developments of the ‘non-dominating varieties’ are more or less seen as secessionist and a danger to the unity of the language. (M)
- D-Nations have better means of codification as the publishers of grammar books and dictionaries are usually located in D-nations. (MC)
- D-Nations have better means to export their language norms as they dominate the language market. This in turn contributes to this high status of the DV which is a source of income and prestige. (M/MC)
(Excerpt from Muhr, 2012)
Clyne, Michael (1992) (ed.): Pluricentric Languages: Differing Norms in Different Nations. Berlin et. al.: Mouton de Gruyter.
Delcourt, Christian / Muhr, Rudolf (2001): Introduction. In: Muhr, R./Delcourt, Chr. (2001): Les Langues Pluricentriques. … Fascicle 79/2001 of Revue Belge de Philologie et Histoire. S. 698-709.
Delcourt, Christian / Muhr, Rudolf (eds.): Les Langues Pluricentriques. Variétés nationales des langues europénnes à l’intérieur et à L’exterieur de L’espace européen. Fascicle 79/2001 de Revue Belge de Philologie et Histoire.
Muhr, Rudolf (2003): Erdäpfelsalat bleibt Erdäpfelsalat? Das Österreichische Deutsch. Sein sprachpolitische Situation. In: Busch, Brigitta / de Cillia Rudolf (Hrsg.) (2003): Sprachenpolitik in Österreich. Eine Bestandsaufnahme. Peter Lang Verlang. Frankfurt/M. 196-226. [Erdäpfelsalat remains Erdäpfelsalat? Austrian German. Its language-political situation. In: Busch, Brigitta / de Cillia Rudolf (eds.) (2003): Sprachenpolitik in Österreich. A survey of the current situation. Peter Lang Verlang. Frankfurt/M. 196-226.]